Do you send out film for processing?

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tjaded

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Hi all--
For those of you that send out film for processing, what (if anything) could a lab offer to get you to send to them? What types of services/prices would it take to get you to switch to a different lab? I'm thinking that a lot of people send all their film to Dwayne's (assuming they shoot Kodachrome) but might look for a different lab after Dec. 2010. So...how do you pick? Price? Distance? Testimonials? Something else?
 

MattKing

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All of the labs I use (except Dwayne's for Kodachrome) are local, so I hand deliver my film.

When you ask about "sending out" film, are you including hand delivered film?

Matt
 
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No. I shoot only b&w film with the rare exception of one roll of 400 Portra in 120 this year. That will go to a local lab unless I get some C41 chem and do it myself. It's dead easy even without a fancy processor.
 
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tjaded

tjaded

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I was thinking via mail or what not. I live in a what I consider a major city (San Francisco) but we have no lab worth a crap anymore!
 

Ian Grant

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Professionalism, fast turnaround and most importantly high quality, at a reasonable price.

I've used Pro labs for over35 years with no problems for a large part of my colour work. I've also done my own E3/4, E6 as well as C41 and RA-4, plus some Cibachrome (Ilfochrome).

At one time nearly all large cities had quite a choice of labs but usually 2 or 3 stood ahead of the rest, my nearest city in the UK is down to one labe with a full range of services on the premises. Other labs offer the range but farm the work out.

You need to know the market place.

Ian
 
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I would agree with Ian. Most important is consistent high quality work, but of course at a reasonable price.

I'm fortunate to have a local lab that currently fills that need and while it's a few miles out of my way, I try to patronize them.

Dave
 

Leighgion

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I live in the boondocks and have to take a ferry to actually get onto the mainland, so all color film gets sent out. All I really ask from the lab is that they charge me reasonable rates and do what they're supposed to competently. The only perk coming to mind which Dwayne's has given is that I get an email when they're done and are sending my stuff back.

Might switch if another lab offered a more streamlined system to do business with them. One thing I don't like about Dwayne's is how unwieldy their order forms are. With separate forms for E6, C41 and B&W, the implication is that their S&H charges will "restart" for each category, discouraging me from mixing different films in a batch.
 

Prest_400

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So far, It's my only good option. I live in a mid sized town (around 20.000hab) but nothing decent here.
I found an interesting lab in Madrid, Still haven't tried them, but heard positive feedback. Their E6 is interesting, C41 expensive (with prints or scanning).
Have 4 rolls to process, so I might have to send it one of these days.
 

Q.G.

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I'll gladly pay a bit more, wait a bit longer, if that means getting better quality.

Until recently, i could get my colour film processed locally.
They generally did a good job, but too many the times that there was something to complain about (mostly about how they physically handled the film).
Now they stopped doing roll film (even though they themselves say it was and would still be a good source of income for them - i still don't understand their decision to stop, and am positive they don't either. But that's another story). Though i can still drop the film off locally, it gets send out, and if my timing is not spot on, i have to wait up to two weeks (was 1 hour before :sad:).
I am pleased though that all the handling issues have disappeared.

I have considered getting one of those small autolab-type thingies, and start processing my colour films myself.
But then i not only have to do all of the messy business, but also need a good, fast supply of fresh chemical kits.
I don't think that would be a change for the better.

So i drop off and wait.
 

MikeSeb

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Sending C-41 out now while my Jobo gets fixed. (I hope!) I chose based on proximity, price, and a personal recommendation. So far so good. No decent cost effective local options, alas.
 

mopar_guy

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I have a mini-lab about 25 miles away that still does C-41 process and color prints and enlargements. They do 120 and 35mm. The lady there has been processing for years and her quality is good. This business had to move a couple of years ago and prior to that they did E-6 on site. Now the machine is gone and they send all of the chromes to Seattle.
 

mhcfires

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I have been using CHROME in San Diego. I usually hand carry into the lab. They do C41 and E6. I have been satisfied with their work, prices are reasonable.
 

mrladewig

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I no longer have a local lab as an option so I have to send my film out or build up the capability to do E-6 and C-41 sheet film myself. Not really interested in that option, so I use a lab. I had some Kodachrome processed by Dwaynes and can say that I will not be using their service for any other film. They are operating at a consumer quality level.

When I make my lab choice, the following factors drive my decision.

1) Quality of work. If I'm getting film back consistently covered in scratches or with rinse or processing issues, I'm going to work with another lab. Sheet film (and frankly 35mm) is not cheap, and many of my trips are once in a lifetime opportunities with more invested than a $2 sheet of film.

2) Total Price. If I've got two labs competing on equal quality, I'm going to choose the one with the lower total price, which in my mind includes the shipping and the processing fees. A couple of labs I've worked with have charged $12 to return a box that cost me $4.50 to ship up. Another lab has free shipping for orders over $50 and is only $4.50 for orders under $50.

3) Turn around time. In part it means the lab is close so the shipping time will not be long. I also want to work with a lab that has a frequent processing cycle. For one thing its a good indicator that the chemicals are in order and that they have the business to support a frequent cycle. I hope that is an indicator of a lab that will still be here in years to come.

The labs I currently work with are Slideprinter, RPI and Photocraft. I really like Photocraft, but they don't have C-41 sheet processing and I've been using more of it lately. Their roll film C-41 processing is great though.
 

BradS

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I send out all color film. All large format E6 and C-41 used to Calypso when they were still in Santa Clara but, after they moved to Santa Cruz (and stopped doing C-41), I started taking my LF color stuff to a small local lab (Alan Photo-Lab in Pleasanton). Small format C-41 goes to E&J in Dublin.

For me, it is all about consistent quality. Considerations of cost and turnaround time come in way behind quality. I am happy to pay more for consistent quality. I don't mind if it takes a week if I know it'll be done well. However, I have a very low tolerance for labs that screw up my films. This is why I don't bother sending films to Wal-mart, Walgreen's rite-aid, Costco, etc any more.
 
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wclark5179

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"Do you send out film for processing?"

No, I process mine in-house! B&W and C-41!

Have a great evening!
 

removed account4

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c41 ...
sometimes i use someone local because i know she does a VERY good job.
but most of the time i drop off to a send out that goes to fujilabs.
i have been doing this for 10 years or so, and don't have a complaint.
they are inexpensive, and do a good job.
if it is e6 or 110 or 120 they forward it on to dwaynes
and i get it back a few days later. still, no complaints.
 

markbarendt

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Quality, quality, quality.

I do most of my own processing for my personal work.

What I send out is all my wedding and event film. I charge the client $50 a roll for film, shipping, and processing; on top of my fees. I get proofs and scans corrected for density and color.

I buy the best processing I can find, right now that's Richard Photo Lab.

Hi all--
For those of you that send out film for processing, what (if anything) could a lab offer to get you to send to them? What types of services/prices would it take to get you to switch to a different lab? I'm thinking that a lot of people send all their film to Dwayne's (assuming they shoot Kodachrome) but might look for a different lab after Dec. 2010. So...how do you pick? Price? Distance? Testimonials? Something else?
 

photomem

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I use an in town lab for my C-41 and E-6. Black and white, I process myself.
 

Ektagraphic

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I process my own black and white stuff but for color processing I use Dale Labs for most things and Praus Productions pretty much exclusivly now. I do send Kodachrome to Dwayne's.
 

nickrapak

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Most of the rolls that I shoot I take to the local "semi-pro" lab, which does C-41 in one hour and E-6 in three. I call them "semi-pro" because although they do medium format, they don't have the equipment to scan and print quickly; they need to use their Nikon desktop scanner. For my MF work and any enlargements I either go to or send out to Philadelphia Photographics (philadelphiaphotographics.com).
 

Minniesmum

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Ive not tried sending film away for developing yet- mainly because I 'm lucky to have one very good lab in my home-town who do everything in-house and the cost is reasonable. Also I can check the prints before I leave the shop and if theres a problem they can sort it out- also they are open late after work tonite til 6:30- am collecting a set taken with my Olympus XA3 !
 
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